Uni Göttingen
Institute for Informatics
Databases and Information Systems


Semistructured Data and XML
Summer 2013

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang May
Assistant: Daniel Schubert

Date and Time:

  • Thursday 14-16 ct, MN28 (Chemistry building [im EG der anorganischen Chemie, das ist der mittlere der drei Chemie-Türme]; derselbe HS, wo auch "Datenbanken" stattgefunden hat).
  • Friday 10-12 ct, HS2, A0.102, Physik "Max Born-Hörsaal".

Lecture and Exercises mixed (see announcements on this page)

Module M.Inf.1141, 4 SWS, 6 ECTS.
The module's home is the MSc studies in Applied CS. It can also be credited in the BSc studies in Applied CS (as "Vertiefung Softwaresysteme und Daten"),
and in several other studies:
BSc/MSc Wirtschaftsinformatik, Mathematik (BSc/MSc), Teaching/2-Fach-Bachelor, PhD GAUSS, ...

Course Description

One of the most important facts that lead to the overall success of XML is that the "XML world" combines a lot of already known concepts in an optimal way for coping with a broad spectrum of requirements. The course will first review some of these preceding (partially even historic) concepts (network database model, relational databases, object-oriented databases) and the integration of data and metadata (SchemaSQL). Then, the idea of "semistructured data" is introduced by showing early representatives that helped to shape the XML world (F-Logic, OEM).

In the main part, XML is presented as a data model and a markup-meta-language, and the current languages of the concepts of the XML world are systematically investigated and applied: DTD, XPath, XQuery, XSLT, XLink, XML Schema, and SQL/XML.

The lecture uses the geographical sample database "Mondial" in its XML version for illustrations.

For practical exercises, the XML software is installed in the IFI CIP Pool. The software playground page can be found here.
The sample code fragments can be found in the pool under /afs/informatik.uni-goettingen.de/course/xml-lecture/ .

Dates & Topics

  • 11.4. keine Vorlesung (Chemie-HS nicht verfügbar).
  • 12.4. keine Vorlesung (Physik-HS nicht verfügbar).
  • 18.4. Administrativa, Overview, Introductory Presentation "XML".
    [Slides 2-on-1] [Slides 4-on-1]
  • 18.4.: General concepts and notions of the database area.
    Slides: Relational Model
  • 25.4.: Earlier database models, concepts and extensions: Basic Concepts and Notions; example and recall: relational model. Slides: data models
  • 26.4.: Earlier database models, concepts and extensions: Network data model, Relational Model
  • Some references to read about database history (optional):
  • 2.5.: "History" continued: Object-Oriented Model
  • 3.5.: "History" continued: Object-Oriented Model
  • 9.5.: Holiday
  • 10.5.: "History" continued: Schema SQL, early semistructured data models (Tsimmis/OEM).
    Slides: early semistructured data models
  • 16.5.: "History" continued: early semistructured data models (frame-based/F-Logic),
    XML: data model, language, DTDs etc.
    Slides: XML basics
  • 17.5.: XML: data model, language, DTDs etc. (cont'd)
  • 23.5. no lecture
  • 24.5. no lecture (lecture hall not available)
  • 30.5.: XML: data model, language, DTDs etc. (cont'd)
    Exercise sheet 1: XML & DTD
  • 31.5.: XPath: navigation and addressing language for XML
    Slides: XPath
    Exercise sheet 2: XPath
  • 6.6.: XPath (cont'd)
  • 7.6.: Discussion of Exercise sheet 1 - Solution.
  • 13.6.: Discussion of Exercise Sheet 2 - Solution.
  • New/revised Slides 223-225 on "is" comparison of node identity
  • 14.6. XML Query Languages: History - XQL, XML-QL; then XQuery
    Slides: XQuery
  • 20.6. XQuery (Cont'd)
  • 21.6. XQuery (Cont'd)
    Exercise sheet 3: XQuery
    Anmerkungen zu dem 61-62-Ergebnisse-Beispiel von heute
  • Studierende, die noch im BSc sind, koennen sich (demnaechst) dort unter "Bachelor - nicht anzurechnende Leistungen" zur Prüfung anmelden
  • 26.6. 14-16 SR 2.101 [Mittwoch -Termin des SQL-Praktikums] (freiwillig).
    SQL&XML: Der SQLX Standard in Oracle
    In dem Vortrag wird eine kurze Einführung in XML gegeben, und gezeigt, wie XML-Daten mit relationalen Daten kombiniert und innerhalb von SQL verarbeitet werden können.
    Folien: XML und SQLX.
  • 27.6. Updating XML Data (same slide set as XQuery);
    The transformation language: XSLT
    Slides: XSLT
  • 28.6. XSLT (Cont'd)
    Exercise sheet 4: XSLT
  • Die Pr¨fung sollte jetzt in FlexNever auch als Modul B.Inf.1703 (Modul Vertiefung Softwaresysteme und Daten) im BSc zu finden sein.
  • 4.7. Besprechung Blatt 3;
    Lösung Blatt 3
    XSLT (Cont'd)
  • 5.7. XSLT (Cont'd)
  • 11.7. Besprechung Blatt 4
    Lösung Blatt 4
  • 12.7. Further topics around XML
    XML Schema. (note: the XML Schema datatypes are also used in the RDF world)
    Slides: XML Schema
    Overview: Global referencing in XML - the linking languages: XPointer and XLink
    Slides: XLink
    Overview: Programming XML with Java APIs
    Slides: DOM/SAX,
    Literature etc.
  • 12.7. End of lecture period.


  • Oral exams, between 15.7.2013 and 25.10.2013:
    • Exams in July: 15.7.-26.7.
    • Prospectively exam period in Aug/Sept: 26.8.-10.9. (prospective dates 4./5.9.):
    • Prospectively exam period in October: 14.10.-18.10. and 21.10.-25.10.
      (Winter term lectures start on Oct. 21)
    • Please contact may at informatik.uni-goettingen.de for the individual appointments/slots
  • Registration via FlexNever: every participant must be registered in the system.
    • "Standard" regulation for oral exams that do not happen all on the same day:
      • Exams in Module X between T1 and T2
      • oral exams: students may deregister until the very last day before T1 (correct would be: very last day before their individual exam).
      • only registered candidates are allowed to be examined.
    • Practical Algorithm:
      • Exams between 15.7.-20.10.2013
      • Registration until 20.10.2013
      • Deregistration: until 15.7.
      • I.e., during 15.7.-20.10. it is possible to register, but not to deregister.
      • make an appointment with me via e-mail (individual appointments cannot be administered at all via FlexNever)
      • register in the system at latest in the morning of the individual exam (then I can check the registration just before the exam).
  • Die Ergebnisse wurden am 23.10. an das Pruefungsamt uebermittelt; sie sollten demnaechst in FlexNever erscheinen. Die Scheine koennen bei Frau Jachinke abgeholt werden.

Hinweise zur Klausur/Prüfungsvorbereitung